Being involved in the National Park

Are you looking for ways to become more involved with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park? There are many choices to choose from depending on what you are interested and how you want to help. Becoming a member of the the Great Smoky Mountain Association is one way to help the National Park. Since 1953, the association has been helping the park through financial donations for educational, scientific and historical efforts. In 2013 alone, the association gave more then $1 million dollars to the National Park to help with major projects such as saving the hemlock trees, historical demonstrations and building new visitor centers. Being a member of the Great Smoky Mountain Association has many benefits including a subscription to Smokies Life, Smokies Guide and The Bearpaw. Whenever you buy merchandise from the national park you will automatically get a 15%-25% discount and a separate discount at other national parks. In addition to the discount getting into the park and on merchandise another discount is available at area motels, rental cabins, restaurants and shops. For more information visit

Another way in being more involved in the National Park is participating in guided trips. The guided trips gives individuals the opportunity to learn more about the plants, animals and history of the area. Expert guides will take you on tours and discuss the area and answer any questions pertaining to the trip. For more information visit If you have children there are many youth programs they can participate in during the summer months. Most camps are 6-11 days with the options of Discovery Camp, Wilderness Adventure and Teen High Adventure. For more information on summer youth programs and available programs visit

The final way to become more involved with the National Park is to volunteer with Friends of the Smokies. This non-profit assists the National Park with raising funds and public awareness needed to bring attention to needed projects in the park. Over $20 million has been raised for programs and projects with the money going towards wildlife conservation, improvement of trails, campsites, educational programs and maintaining historical structures throughout the park. The organization relies on these donations and helps make these projects happen. For more information on how to get involved with Friends of the Smokies visit

There are many ways to become more involved with the national park no matter how you want to get involved. For more information on the Smoky Mountain National Park and what is happening, visit

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